Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master

Like Game of Thrones? Not a fan of the language it uses, but enjoy fantasy tales with magic, politics, bastards and huge armies? Go read one of my favorites.

Originally published in 1982 as a single novel, Raymond E. Feists Magician, was split in half for the North American market and sold as the two volumes I read. Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master. It is a high fantasy story that is the first in a trilogy called The Riftwar Saga, which then continued to become the thirty volume Riftwar Cycle, and I have read every single one. Oh and it was also a kick ass video game.

Okay, so, you know what’s really cool about The Riftwar Cycle? Back in University Raymond E. Feist belonged to a role playing group. They weren’t entirely happy with the Dungeons and Dragons campaigns they had been running and decided to create their own, set on a world they called Midkemia. Raymond decided to write the history of the fictional world they were playing in. The Riftwar Cycle is the lore for the fantasy RPG a group of gamers made up in the 70s. Isn’t that cool?

Magician follows about five different characters throughout the invasion of their world by an army from another, through a magical rift (hence the name) in space, but the one you will remember fondest is an orphan boy who grows up to be a Wizard. Cliched now, but Pugs story predates the more famous characters of both J.K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman.

I love this book. It’s a favorite and one I’ve re-read… I’ve lost count of how many times over the past thirty years. It’s got magic, elves, armies, dragons, alien invaders, dwarves, royalty, everything people love about high fantasy. The characters are ones you’ll fall in love with but I’ll warn you, Mr. Feist was killing off people the readers liked long before George R. R. Martin even dreamt of the Red Wedding.

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